ArcelorMittal’s iCARe® range of innovative electrical steels for the automotive market are produced at our state-of-the-art mill in St-Chély d'Apcher (France). The mill was recently audited by two of ArcelorMittal’s German automotive customers and passed with flying colours on both occasions. The audits were carried out by carmaker Volkswagen, and Kienle + Spiess, a leading supplier of vehicle components to the German automotive industry.
High quality requires high standards
German automotive manufacturers have very exacting standards. It is one of the reasons why the country is renowned for its high-quality vehicles. To maintain this level, many automakers require their suppliers to comply with international standards (such as ISO 19001 and ISO 16949) in addition to the German industry’s own standard known as VDA 6.3 (see box). VDA 6.3 was developed by the German Association of the Automotive Industry, known as VDA.
While ISO standards typically focus on ensuring that the proper rules are followed, VDA 6.3 ensures that compliance takes place on the shop floor. “During the audit, a VDA assessor will discuss procedures with the people who are carrying them out, such as operators and lab technicians,” explains Hugues Oberlé, ArcelorMittal’s Global Technology Coordinator for Volkswagen. “The goal is to prove that ArcelorMittal’s people understand what they are doing, and why.”
Two ‘A’ results in three months
The Volkswagen audit was carried out during July 2014. The company was the first customer to conduct a VDA 6.3 audit at ArcelorMittal St-Chély d'Apcher. The audit took place while the mill was delivering electrical steels for Volkswagen’s new e-up! and e-Golf electric vehicles. As a result the mill had to make a huge investment to prepare for the audit and was at full capacity when the inspector arrived. “Despite these factors, we achieved an A rating from Volkswagen – the highest possible,” notes Hugues Oberlé.
The Kienle + Spiess VDA 6.3 audit occurred in September 2014. Again, ArcelorMittal St-Chély d'Apcher achieved an A rating.
“The results are very positive and confirm that ArcelorMittal St-Chély d'Apcher is continuously achieving the highest level of excellence required by today’s automotive industry.”
Huges Oberlé, ArcelorMittal's Global Technology Coordinator for Volkswagen
ArcelorMittal’s innovative range of iCARe® electrical steels for automotive includes three product families which enable carmakers to develop the electrical and hybrid vehicles of the future.
The iCARe® families are: